Do you cringe every time you see one of your coworkers toss a recyclable container into the trash? Do the intricacies of our nation's recycling system leave you agitated? Or maybe you generally just have recycling on the brain. If any of those sound familiar, Eco-Ambassador may be the rule for you!
Did you know that offices with Eco-Ambassadors are 99% more sustainable and 94% happier than those without Eco-Ambassadors?
Okay, that statistic may be made up... The results of an office Eco-Ambassador program may not be quantifiable, but the financial, office-wide employee engagement and professional development opportunities (and not to mention the diversion increases) are substantial. Continue reading for our tips on implementing a successful Eco-Ambassador program in your small business, apartment complex, facility or office space!
Step 1: Nominate your Ambassadors
Every successful program begins with enthusiastic green champions! Your ambassadors should be naturally driven to make organizational change. It’s a wonderful learning experience, both on an industry and a professional development level. The ambassadors will gain critical management, motivational and behavioral change skills.
Step 2: Design an Office Disposal Plan
Based on the type of materials your office generates, your Eco-Ambassadors can lay out a floor plan of where your receptacles should be placed, based on where your materials are accumulated. For instance, do your employees typically throw out a lot of paper in the copy room? That's the perfect opportunity to set up a clean "paper only" bin there! It probably also makes sense to place paper only bins next to each employee's desk and compost bins in the kitchen. It's best to keep these traffic flows in mind so the program naturally works, and you retain the most employee buy-in!
Step 3: Make Sure to Communicate with Your Haulers
Make sure that all your in-office waste and recycling efforts are communicated to your hauler. Giving them the heads up about any receptacle, bin, liner or stream changes will ensure your materials are uncontaminated and are able to be reclaimed for recycling. These efforts will make a huge difference in the long run!
Step 4: Share the Green Wave Enthusiasm!
By making small changes in the workplace, you’ll be spreading awareness and building habits that translate beyond the workplace. Scheduling regular informational events and activities can help get your coworkers involved and excited about making changes. You'd be surprised what taking an hour to pot plants around the office will do to boost the energy in the office! There’s no limit to what you can create once you get people motivated.
Step 5: Recommend Reusables
Going "reusable" is a great way to cut down on waste! Your ambassador team can get started by going to the nearest thrift store and picking up cutlery, mugs, glasses and dishes. Your coworkers will be more likely to pack their own food when they have access to these basics, which cuts down on the need for single-use packaging. Bonus: It may even cut down your waste bill costs!
Excited to go off and get your program started right away? Let us know how it goes in the comment section below by sharing any tips or personal experiences – a green tip is worth a lot in our community! Happy recycling from our office to yours!